News Release

KHN and Associated Press Investigation of Inadequate U.S. Public Health Infrastructure During the Pandemic Wins Top Journalism Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has awarded KFF’s Kaiser Health News and The Associated Press one of its top journalism prizes for a joint investigation that revealed the diminished state of the U.S. public health infrastructure in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AAAS gave the news organizations its Gold Award in science reporting for “Hollowed-Out Public Health System Faces More Cuts Amid Virus,” an investigation that found that the public health workforce in the U.S. is underfunded and under threat, lacking the basic tools to confront the worst pandemic in a century. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 10 million people in the U.S. so far and killed more than 238,000.

The AAAS is the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society, which also publishes research in the esteemed journal Science. Its Kavli Science Journalism Awards recognize distinguished science reporting for a general audience. The program, open to journalists worldwide, received entries from news organizations in 54 countries this year. Winners will receive their awards in a virtual ceremony held in conjunction with the 2021 AAAS Annual Meeting in February.

KHN and AP journalists interviewed more than 150 public health workers, policymakers and experts, analyzed state and federal financial records, and surveyed statehouses around the country. Their investigation found that governments at every level have failed to provide the public health system with the resources — both human and financial — that are required to protect the nation from pandemics.

AP and KHN also shared data and offered guidance to news organizations that are AP members and customers to help them localize the findings of the investigation for their regions.

The full list of award winners is available on the AAAS website.

About KFF and Kaiser Health News

Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California. KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. KHN is an editorially independent program of KFF and, along with Policy Analysis and Polling, is one of the three major operating programs of KFF. KFF is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

About AP

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business. More than half the world’s population sees AP journalism every day. Online:

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.